Sailing south with a mysterious woman

Allard Schröder: Der Hyrograf ISBN 978-3-86648-262-3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This novel from a Dutch author gave me a lot of pleasure! 24 hours and I was done, but I would have read on for a few hundred additional pages. The setting of the novel and Schröder’s dry, detached descriptive style reminds me of Thomas Mann and his early novels. A German marine scientist in his late twenties sails to Valparaiso shortly before World War I. On board he meets a woman with a mysterious past and an even more mysterious future. He falls in love. At the same time the longer the voyage takes the more his faith in his former convictions and the merit of his noble descent give way to a certain nihilsm. Both transformations drive the story forward, and the end is a reverence to the main character of Thomas Mann’s “Magic Mountain”. Beautiful!

Speaking about Thomas Mann, this is the time and place to point you toward’s Franz Schubert’s piano cycle “Winter Journey”, philosophy set to music, echoed by Schröder’s novel:

Wandering to the point of no return